Her uncle and aunt listened to her stories eagerly and in spite of their doubts began to feel that the little girl had gained a lot of experience and wisdom that were unaccountable in this age, when fairies are supposed no longer to exist.
The use of the verb "implore" shows how loved and valued Dorothy is, especially since she is being implored by someone who is used to being loved, valued and obeyed by most of the inhabitants of Oz. Not always in Kansas anymore, Dorothy is now both a simple farm girl and a princess in a palace.
The girl Ruler had even made Dorothy a Princess of Oz, and had often implored her to come to Ozma's stately palace and live there always; but Dorothy had been loyal to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, who had cared for her since she was a baby, and she had refused to leave them because she knew they would be lonely without her.
That evening Dorothy had many callers, and among them were such important people as Tiktok, a machine man who thought and spoke and moved by clockwork; her old companion the genial Shaggy Man; Jack Pumpkinhead, whose body was brush-wood and whose head was a ripe pumpkin with a face carved upon it;
In general, "fortify" means to "make strong or stronger"--the chosen definition for the example sentence gives a specific need to make something strong. One method of fortifying a city, aside from assembling an army, is suggested through another definition of the word: "enclose by walls around a stronghold."
He did not wish his armies to appear above ground in the Country of the Winkies, which was the part of the Land of Oz nearest to King Roquat's own country, as then the people would give the alarm and enable Ozma to fortify the Emerald City and assemble an army.
The Growleywogs gave a shout of jeering laughter at this, and one of them caught the Nome in his strong arms and tossed him high into the air. Guph was considerably shaken when he fell upon the hard ground, but he appeared to take no notice of the impertinence and composed himself to speak again to the Grand Gallipoot.
Compare the example sentences here to the previous two words'. Guph arrived uninvited thinking he's great, while Uncle Henry and Aunt Em were magically brought into a palace that they think is too great for them. Readers can guess which attitude the author prefers by the impertinence Guph receives and the courteous endeavors Uncle Henry and Aunt Em are treated to.
But Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had some trouble in getting used to the finery and pomp and ceremony of Ozma's palace, and felt uneasy because they were obliged to be "dressed up" all the time. Yet every one was very courteous and kind to them and endeavored to make them happy.
The author is both appealing to his young readers' dream of school and making fun of Professor Wogglebug's complacent attitude. Readers might want to play sports all day in school, but they understand that a successful education in our world requires more work than swallowing pills, and valuable citizens would want to work hard at making themselves and society great.
"This college," said Professor Wogglebug, complacently, "is a great success. Its educational value is undisputed, and we are turning out many great and valuable citizens every year."
He did not know that these despised rock heaps of the Phanfasms were merely deceptions to his own eyes, nor could he guess that he was standing in the midst of one of the most splendid and luxurious cities ever built by magic power. All that he saw was a barren waste of rock heaps, a hairy man with an owl's head and another with a bear's head.
"Horde" and "multitude" are synonyms that are both used to describe the many Phanfasms; before they appear to show their powers to Guph, they try to scare him as "an unseen multitude" that stares, rustles, approaches, and echoes laughter.
Here he gave a curious wailing cry, and, as if in answer, from all the rocky huts on the mountain-top came flocking a horde of Phanfasms, all with hairy bodies, but wearing heads of various animals, birds and reptiles.
Just as the King is referring to a pepperbox with the adjectives "piquant" and "highly-seasoned" (in the previous example sentence), the speaker of the example sentence here who seeks to "prove our mettle" is a carving knife made of metal. The entire scene in Utensia is filled with puns.
"But now that the foolish deed is done let us all prove our mettle and have a slashing good time."
characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
So she said, addressing the King, who seemed very unfit to rule his turbulent subjects: "I wish you'd decide my fate right away. I can't stay here all day, trying to find out what you're going to do with me."
"Wretched," "woeful," and "distressed" are synonyms for "afflicted" and the use of these words doesn't make Dorothy feel sorry for the King. The adjective "dismal" is included by the author to make fun of the King. Because the King is so dismal, he can't appreciate what he has--until Dorothy forces him to think about giving it all up to a better king who could make his subjects happy.
"But I am," protested the King, fresh tears gathering in his eyes. "Even my jokes are miserable. I'm wretched, woeful, afflicted, distressed and dismal as an individual can be. Are you not sorry for me?"
"N--o!" he faltered; "that may be so. But I've dressed up so long that I'm used to it, and I don't imagine I'd care to run around naked again. So perhaps the Good Glinda will let me keep the costumes."
Aunt Em found, to her satisfaction, that Dorothy's promise was more than fulfilled; for, although the Tin Woodman had no appetite of his own, he respected the appetites of his guests and saw that they were bountifully fed.
As they indulged in these sad plans for the future they journeyed in sight of the Scarecrow's new mansion, and even though filled with care and worry over the impending fate of Oz, Dorothy couldn't help a feeling of wonder at the sight she saw.
Now a still more formidable creature entered the cavern. It was the First and Foremost of the Phanfasms and he proudly sat down in King Roquat's own throne and demanded the right to lead his forces through the tunnel in advance of all the others.
This philosophical discussion of wisdom is taking place immediately before the arrival of an enemy who is using his brains to try and oppress Oz. Even though Nick Chopper, the Scarecrow, Jack Pumpkinhead, and Tiktok are all talking about their own brains, the scene reveals the author's thoughts on how much thinking one should do and act upon.
"My tin brains are very bright, but that is all I claim for them," said Nick Chopper, modestly. "Yet I do not aspire to being very wise, for I have noticed that the happiest people are those who do not let their brains oppress them."
The other Growleywogs were not slow to follow suit, and even before they had finished drinking the Chief of the Whimsies and his people came to push them away, while they one and all cast off their false heads that they might slake their thirst at the fountain.
having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion
This note is a little disconcerting, because the author is making himself seem like a fictional character who is friends with Dorothy, which is very different from the tone he takes in his letters to his readers, whom he credits for helping him to develop his characters and stories. Baum had originally intended this book to be the last Oz story, so this was his way of ending the series.
The writer of these Oz stories has received a little note from Princess Dorothy of Oz which, for a time, has made him feel rather disconcerted. The note was written on a broad, white feather from a stork's wing, and it said:
"YOU WILL NEVER HEAR ANYTHING MORE ABOUT OZ, BECAUSE WE ARE NOW CUT OFF FOREVER FROM ALL THE REST OF THE WORLD. BUT TOTO AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU AND ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN WHO LOVE US.